Writing a Descriptive abstract for your Research Paper

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Out of the two types of abstracts used for academic research paper writing purposes, descriptive abstract is the less commonly used one. But there are certain assignments which specifically ask for it. In which case, you should know how to write an abstract of descriptive nature. Understanding the specific features of this type of abstract will also help you grasp the specifications of informative abstracts, in a better way.

A descriptive abstract is not much preferred for academic assignments because it is rather vague in nature. It doesn’t reveal any of the specific aspects of the discussion. If you have been asked to write one for your research paper it will, mostly, be to educate you on the differences between the two types of abstracts. This type of abstract is mainly used for magazines and journals to give the reader a general idea of the contents. Hence its content is rather generalized than specific. This type of abstract is not expected to be informative in anyway. It does not offer to give the reader a clear idea of the contents. It also doesn’t tell the readers enough, to help determine whether the research paper is worthy of reading of not.

While writing a descriptive abstract, pick the most generalized aspects if your research paper. Topic is one point to be included. You do not have to elaborate much on the topic, or any other point for that matter, if the abstract is a descriptive one. Just mention what is the subject area and what the topic is. There is no need to explain about the specific angle you are studying or the conclusion. Just generally talk about the method you are using and the reason why you chose to research on the topic. You can include some general background information on the topic if you wish to and if there is space.

Keep your descriptive abstract within the preferred length of 100 words unless specified otherwise. Check your guidelines to see if it has asked for a longer abstract. Where it is not specified, an abstract of descriptive type is expected to be less than 100 words. Do not reveal much about the study or the report. One purpose of such an abstract is to leave the reader with no choice but to read the complete document to get the details of the research. Keep this aspect in mind while writing the abstract. Your reader should not understand anything more than the subject your research is related to and the topic you are dealing with.

You can also mention the sources you have used for your research. Again, just mention the author and the book, without getting into anymore bibliographical details. Too much detailing will make your research paper abstract too long and too informative to be qualified as a descriptive one. Hence remember to keep the discussion vague enough.

If you are not being able to manage the task of writing a descriptive abstract, consult your teacher to get more advice on how to go about it. You can also opt to get a research paper abstract custom written for you by professional academic writers.

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